Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Sports & Action Photos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 19, 2008, 4:06 PM   #1
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Hi all,

I'm going to be be shooting a gymnastics event in 3 weekends time andthis is not something I've covered before. They only have 2 events there so looking for suggestions.

The events covered are the floor and the vault....... where are the best places to stand, what should I be looking for in the shot, and anything else you can think of?

If you have example shots these will help too.

Thanks,

Mark
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 19, 2008, 9:51 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 98
Default

Mark,

I will chime in here since I primarily shoot my daughter's meets. The following are my insights from shooting the events as well as watching the professional photogs at the meets and viewing many photos taken by waaay more highly skilled people than myself. Now having said all of that, my recommendations are as follows:

1. Floor routines - If you are shooting compulsory gymnasts (or their equivalent), all of the gymnasts do the same routine. This is a definate plus for the photographer (except for the music which will linger in your brain for weeks) as you will quickly learn which move is coming next. If you are shooting optional gymnasts, routines will most likely all be different but will have similar skills incorporated somewhere in the routines. Most likely your best position will be at a corner of the floor mat which willhopefully put you 90 degrees to tumbling passes. I have never seen an event photog shoot anywhere other than the corner. Having said that, tumbling passes show great action but not always great face shots. Look for nice poses other than tumbling passes which can incorporate good face shots. I like somephotos to have really tight shots of the upper body and face...preferrably with a smile as I imagine these would sellreally well!

2. Vault - I like to be directly in line with the horse and have the gymnast running straight at me if possible (see attached photo). This position also gives me quite a bit of room behind the gymnast to blur the backgrounds shooting wide open.

I am assuming that you will be the event photographer so positioning should not be a hardship with you. Also I think you have a 70-200 2.8 which should serve you well now that you are not limited to ISO 3200, becausesome gyms that I shoot in will not let me shoot at 2.8 and 3200. This is why the 135 2.0 works so well for me.

It will go fast...so be prepared. I have the luxury of just shooting one gymnast if I want, you will not. Hopefully others can provide you with other helpful insights as well...these are just my two cents. Have fun and I look forward to seeing the posts!

Chris
Attached Images
 
PhotoDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 24, 2008, 5:19 PM   #3
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

That's cool, thanks for the tips!! I bought the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L USM etc etc today to replace the Sigma so looking forward to giving that a bash and hoping they have enough light there to use it!!
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2008, 7:30 AM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Mark,

What level are the gymnasts (note, not necessarily age but level)?

That will dictate whether or not the vault and bars even have much interesting going on.


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2008, 7:33 AM   #5
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

There are no bars just vault and floor. There are two days of competition and the levels vary from what I know ranging from pretty much beginners to regional level. So that probably doesn't help LOL.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2008, 7:45 AM   #6
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

OK - only the two events.

Vault:

Unless they're advanced, vault consists of the very boring front handspring - that's it. Not much opportunity for great shots. Standard shots would be: vaulter running, handspring with vaulter as much vertical as possible (i.e. at the apex of the vault) and then the presentation (think "ta-d!!!") after the vault completes. Now, here's the challenge - on the front handspring the face will be back toward the way they came, whereas the run is best gotten from the other side of the vault. The presentation could be gotten from either side depending on the angle and what is in the way. Personally I would make my decision based upon the backgrounds involved. But, look during warmups to see if anyone is doing a more interesting vault - IF SO, pay attention - some twists, the vaulter is more horizontal than vertical so you want to change the orientation you shoot at.

For floor: really comes down to how the lighting is and what kind of shutter speeds you can get. You'll need fast shuttere speeds to catch the passes (think 1/640 or better). Those always go corner to corner. And usually there are at least 2 passes - one for each diagonal. Even so, it's tough to get shots where the gymnast looks good in a pass - especially at lower levels because form is usually so bad. This is what makes gymnastics a tough sport - FORM is important. So even if your timing is perfect and exposure is great, you're at the mercy of whether the gymnast has good form in the shot. The safe shots are the leaps, and the poses (although you have to be quick on the poses - they don't hold them for long). Shoot those with your 70-200 or possibly 120-300 so you get nice and tight and get a blurred background. They're usually good sellers because all the gymnasts look good in them.


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2008, 4:10 PM   #7
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Thanks John, I will show you the results next week.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2008, 4:10 PM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Double post........
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:54 PM.